What does a clutch do? And what is a clutch kit?
The clutch is a solid metal disc that couples the crankshaft and flywheel to the gearbox’s clutch shaft. The clutch is located between the engine and transmission to temporarily disconnect the engine drive from the gearbox.
A clutch kit usually contains all the elements to replace and rejuvenate your clutch and its performance: usually a clutch disc, pressure plate, flywheel and a throw race or release bearings. A clutch kit will contain the correct parts for a particular make and model of car and is often cheaper than buying the components individually.
How often should a clutch need replacing?
There isn’t a typical time or set mileage suggested to replace a clutch kit, as it can depend on both the car and your driving style. Most clutches are designed to last approximately 60k miles, yet they can have a healthy life covering mileages anywhere between 30k and 100k.
The law, vehicle regulations and your MOT
A damaged or broken clutch will affect your car’s driving ability to the point where it could fail its MOT. Testing doesn’t include an examination of the engine, clutch or gearbox, so if it appears to be working adequately, then it shouldn’t affect the test result.
What causes a clutch to stop working correctly?
A clutch will wear out over time through continual use. The disc thickness reduces, which affects the amount of force the pressure plate can apply to the clutch disc against the flywheel. Incorrect use over extended periods will impact the lifespan and cause unnecessary problems. Slippage can also be caused by reduced tension in the pressure plate’s springs.
Symptoms of a malfunctioning clutch
The clutch slips while driving
If you feel a loss or inappropriate delivery of power when using the accelerator, it could be due to a damaged or worn clutch.
Changing gears is a problem
If you can’t change gears or it feels like there is unusual grinding and friction when trying, your clutch isn’t separating the engine drive from the gearbox sufficiently.
The car doesn’t move
If there is no delivery of power to the engine from the accelerator, then your clutch could be the problem.
Your gearbox makes unusual and unhealthy noises
If the transmission makes unhealthy grinding noises when you try to use the clutch to engage or disengage the engine, there’s a strong chance that your clutch isn’t operating as it should.
Fiat Automobiles is the largest car manufacturer in Italy, originally established over 100 years ago in July 1899, and is a subsidiary of FCA Italy (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles).
How popular is Fiat in the United Kingdom?
There are around 890k Fiat cars on the road in the UK. Their popularity as a modern car supplier grew through the 1990s and peaked around the current number in the mid-2000s, where it has remained constant over the past 10 years.
As a long established and easily recognised brand, a large part of their success can be put down to their historical models and retro styling.
Attractively priced fun and funky cars
Fiat is renowned for providing unique styling associated with Italian car design, yet without the hefty sports car price tag.
The Fiat 500 is possibly one of the most easily recognised cars in the world and a true piece of iconic car culture. Despite looking virtually the same as it did at its introduction in 1957, the latest model featured over 1,800 updates to its previous version, making sure it stands its ground in a modern car buyer’s market.
Colourful cars for colourful people
When you visit Fiat’s website, you’ll be presented with bright, punchy colours and slogans, suggesting a younger feel and a driving culture based around a carefree life in the now. Riding the on-going success of the 500 and their strength in the city car market, Fiat has added the 500L and 500X to their current range; mini SUV and MPV offerings that build on the styling and popularity of the 500. And why wouldn’t they? It’s a smart way to break into new markets with a trusted and recognisable brand.
Fiat’s reliability and reputation
Fiat ranked 14th place out of 30 car brands in the What Car? Reliability Survey in 2018. They are a well-established manufacturer who carries a reputation for style and keeping up with current trends, but under the watchful eye of a parent company who also owns Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Jeep and Maserati, their experience and wealth of industry knowledge is greater than first appears.
Recent Fiat recalls and reliability issues
Various recalls have been made on Fiat models throughout their motoring history. The following are a list of the most recent in the UK and Europe.
26/04/2019 – Fiat Talento (2018)
The handbrake efficiency could be lost
12/04/2019 – Fiat Panda (2016–2018)
The steering column adjustment could release
07/09/2018 – Fiat 500X (2015–2018)
If rear seat belts are not fastened and pretensioners are deployed the latch could be released
24/08/2018 – Fiat Panda (2018)
Engine suspension reaction bracket not fitted on the transmission side
30/04/2018 – Fiat Fullback (2016–2017)
Door locks may malfunction and allow doors to open unintentionally
16/03/2018 – Fiat Ducato (2016–2017)
Intercooler sleeve may detach from the throttle body
02/03/2018 – Fiat 500 (2017)
Instrument cluster may display incorrect information
19/12/2017 – Fiat 500 (2017)
Replace electrical power steering
All recall information sourced from gov.co.uk data.